Category: Traveling San Francisco (25)

Pink skies, lollipop trees, a disco-ball room, unicorns, and sugary snacks galore! Did I just describe your childhood day-dream? Yes, this is a real place, and yes, you can go visit. So here is your incentive to get out of your single room in San Francisco for the day and go explore the city; today’s Exploring San Francisco is on the Museum of Ice Cream!

Unless you have been living under a rock, (or haven’t felt the need to leave one of our fabulous San Francisco furnished apartments since you arrived), most likely you have heard that the Museum of Icecream has come to SF. You’ve probably noticed it blowing up your insta feed with images of pink walls, selfies in a sprinkle pool, and banana swings. The museum basically serves as a giant candy land-inspired playground, so grab your San Francisco roommates and get ready for the perfect photo-op.

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 12.21.13 PMPhoto courtesy of A Jaunt with Joy.

As your leading provider of affordable San Francisco housing, we wish we could offer you a room in this museum. But since it is a temporary museum, that seems to be impossible (trust us, we’ve tried.) Instead, in this blog, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about this sweet-filled sanctuary.

Below is your virtual tour, complete with lots of pics! At the bottom are our top tips and tricks to make the most of your experience. If this post doesn’t satisfy your sweet tooth, I don’t know what will.

Welcome, ladies and gents, to your inner child’s wildest fantasy: The Museum of Ice-cream! Let’s Get Started.

1) Entering the Ice Cream Vault: Before you are allowed to enter, crowds are whisked away and told that they must pass a very serious trivia quiz on how modern day cream came to be! The staff does a great job of making it fun and interactive. This is the rite of passage completed by all museum goers, so pay close attention, you may even learn something interesting!

2) Candy Carnival: After you successfully pass the trivia quiz, you are welcomed into the first room. Like stepping into a circus tent, you are immediately overwhelmed with colors, smalls, and sights!  The carnival themed room boasts a fun game where you toss rings onto whipped cream cans, and the walls are lined with pink toys, pinwheels, and carnival-style tickets.

3)  Soda Pop and Malt 50’s Diner: The next room will make you feel like you stepped into a time-machine, straight back to the 1950’s. The room looks like a bubblegum pink 50’s diner, complete with a long counter, stools, a jukebox, and records lining the wall. But when you sit at the counter, instead of serving milkshakes and malts, you’ll be handed a Bay-native creamy treat! The Museum of Icecream partners with local businesses including CREAM, Bi-Rite, Salt & Straw, and It’s It, and serves a rotation of delicious SF-made ice cream flavors! The room even has a working jukebox, so be sure to pick your favorite 50’s pop and shimmy as you snack!

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 12.21.31 PMPhoto courtesy of A Jaunt with Joy.

4) Sugary Script: Next up is a room where self-expression becomes literal. The word room is covered in pink magnetic letters, so you can have fun making your mark and writing your message. But don’t worry, there will be more sugary snacks right around the corner…

5) Cotton Candy Pit Stop: On your way into the next room, be sure to stop and grab some delicious cherry-flavored cotton candy in the hallway! This spun- sugary goodness melts in your mouth like no other.

6) Cherry Skies forever?: The next room is filled with pink skies and floating cherries, and is a great place to snap a few photos. With cherry cotton candy in hand, this room looks like a fruit-filled dreamland! Truly the cherry on top.

7) Real Life Candy Land: Pink hills, lollipop trees, and gummy bears roaming sugary dunes – no, I am not describing the board game.

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8) Chill Out: By now you are most likely on a sugar high. No worries, you can take a moment to chill out in the popsicle room! Be sure to use the last video booth and send yourself a video so you can remember this sugary afternoon forever.

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9)Rock (Candy) Climbing: Now that you have had a moment to relax, mine as well get a quick workout in to burn off all of those sugary snacks! The next room has a (pop) rock climbing wall, so try out your athleticism. But don’t worry, you won’t have to go snacks for long, because staff members will hand you some candy cane pop rocks!

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10) Unicorn Room:  Next up is a room in which rainbow magic and prismatic portals transform into the rainbow room, a magical fantasy space equipped with a unicorn and pink dipped ice cream cones!

11) Disco Ball Room: Don’t miss the small door out of the unicorn room! Because it leads into a giant disco ball – one of the best photo-ops so far.

12) Sprinkle Pool: Ah yes, the insta-famous sprinkle pool. Literally, an entire pool made of sprinkles. Dive in, take your pics, throw some sprinkles in the air. But be aware, the lifeguard is not there for your safety, your time in the room is limited.

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 12.21.41 PMPhoto courtesy of A Jaunt with Joy.

13) Banana Swings: Finally, the visit ends with one last chance to eat ice cream, play ping pong, or rest your feet as you swing. Be sure to stop for mementos in the gift shop!

That’s all for now folks!

Pro tips: There are no bathrooms before or after you enter, so make sure you come prepared. Keep in mind that you can only move forward, so once you leave a room you can’t go back! That means pace yourself, and make sure you are satisfied with your pictures before moving on. But keep an eye on the clock, because you want to make sure you have plenty of time for everything! !

Tickets are hard to come by, because the museum has been crazy popular since it arrived in San Francisco. Tickets must be purchased in advance, are $38 per person, and are currently sold out for the San Francisco Museum of Ice Cream, but you can get updates when new tickets are available by signing up for their email list. I recommend trying to get tickets for the early morning or early afternoon Monday – Thursday to avoid big crowds of people, and to make sure you have lots of time to perfect your pics!

Almost as good as living in the Museum of Icecream is living in one of our San Francisco short stay apartments! You can view our open listings here.

Want to know more cool spots in the city? You can read similar blog posts here.

Finally, you can find more information about the San Francisco Museum of Ice Cream here!

Hope we satisfied your sweet tooth!

Post made by contributor Isabelle Kaplan.

Welcome, you poor uncaffeinated soul. You have wandered out of your San Francisco housing and are desperately seeking coffee, but in such a big city, where do you start? (And do NOT say Starbucks.) Don’t worry fellow caffeine fiend, we have you covered. Below are the best coffee shops in SF for every type of person. So whether you are the type of fellow who just wants to grab-and-go a cup of joe to take back to your San Francisco student housing to get studying, or you feel like spending the day dilly-dallying away in an airy cafe, listed below is your dream coffee shop. Make haste, your coffee awaits.

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Sightglass Coffee: For the Wi-Fi Wanderers.

270 7th St, San Francisco, CA

Calling all college students, freelancers, iPhone aficionados, and ‘the world is my office’ free spirits. If you are uninspired by your San Francisco corporate housing, you are desperately seeking caffeination and even more desperately seeking Wi-Fi, this is the spot for you. Not only does this coffee shop offer some incredible java, this spot easily boasts the best ambiance. High ceilings? Check. Natural light? Check. Wood Floors? Check. Great People watching? Double Check. Plus, it has Wi-Fi for days. So all you tech-savvy coffee-guzzlers can settle in, get one of their incredible espresso-based drinks and a nice pastry, and zone in on your screen in peace.

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Blue Bottle: For the Minimalists.

66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

When you go to a coffee shop and there are more food options than coffee options, the minimalist knows they have found their haven. At Blue Bottle, they do not sweeten, garnish, or shake. Blue Bottle is famous in San Francisco for its extremely high-quality coffee, yet very basic menu. Best of all, the lack of options does not speak to the lack of flavor, because this coffee surely packs a punch. The biggest choice you may have to make is whether you would like the Hayes Valley House Espresso or the Guatemala Single Origin Espresso, which is great, because you hate choices. In fact, I’ll make the choice for you: get the New Orleans iced coffee. That way, you can sit back and admire the minimalist ambiance as you sip your minimalist beverage without having to ponder too hard about anything at all.

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Elite Audio Systems Coffee & Wine Bar: For the Insta-Inclined.

966 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

Free up some memory and head on over to the most unassuming yet rewarding coffee shop SF has to offer. Elite Audio is a teeny spot with barely four tables to its name, in the midst of an unassuming street in the middle of SoMa. Here, you will find the most beautiful and intricate latte art you could ever imagine. The barista is a verifiable artisan, and in the swirl of steamed milk her mochas become masterpieces. For the Insta-inclined, order the mocha and prepare to liven up your feed, because prettiest cup of coffee award easily goes to Elite Audio.

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Andytown Coffee Roasters: For the Espresso Extras.

3655 Lawton St, San Francisco, CA 94122

I’ve been there. When you order your “grande half-caf blonde vanilla latte with just two pumps of syrup, steamed almond milk, and one raw sugar please” and the barista looks at you like you’re from outer space. But don’t worry, if you like your coffee with 25% milk, 25% sugar, 25% espresso, and 25% extra, this is the spot for you. Andytown is known for their Snowy Plover, a must-try iced drink involving espresso, Pellegrino, and brown sugar syrup, topped with house-made whipped cream. Otherwise, they offer all of the regular accoutrements, and are more than happy to help you concoct your own coffee creation – with a smile, believe it or not. Andytown offers an excellent variety of pastries and some superb Irish soda bread, and they choose and roast their own beans, so you know your coffee is legit. But the best thing about this place is that they get it. You aren’t extra, you just know what you like … Down to every specific detail.

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Philz: For the Go-Getters.

5 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, CA

I know, you have already heard of this coffee shop. But this one had to be listed for the jet-setters and grab-and-goers, because they know that convenience is key. Boasting over 14 locations in San Francisco alone, Philz is the spot to get your fix on wherever you may be. The Bay-native business has excellent coffee, original drinks, and great food options, set at a decent price point. My favorite libation is the Mint Mojito, but if you are more of a traditionalist, their menu boasts extensive options for a regular cuppa. All of their coffee beans are also available to purchase, just in case you might fall in love. And the best news for those of you who are one-stop shoppers? They have a wide variety of food options, ranging from pastries to some pretty delicious avocado toast! Because you have better things to do, so you can take your joe straight back to your San Francisco room rental and proceed to your day with haste  – ain’t nobody got time for lunch.

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Four Barrel Coffee: For the Hipsters.

375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA

This place is for the true hipster coffee connoisseur. Four Barrel Coffee boats a pour over and espresso bar, in which the friendly barista will allow you to scent-test the various roasts and help you select your favorite. The coffee is phenomenal, so be sure to mention your opinion on its country of origin. There is no Wi-Fi, because assumably the clientele would prefer sketching, writing poetry, or simply observing a songbird atop a branch outside. The atmosphere is gorgeous, and will make your original latte photography even more aesthetic. Minimal food options, but that is ok, because you prefer consuming literature to food anyways.

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So there you have it folks! Next time you chose to wander out of your single room in San Francisco, be sure to stop by one of these spots and get your fix on.

Did we find the perfect coffee shop for you? Like and share this blog post, and let us know what you think of our choices!

Want to live in San Francisco? Check out our open San Francisco room rentals, San Francisco temporary housing, and SF furnished apartments here.

Like this post? Check out our other blog posts here!

Post made by contributor Isabelle Kaplan.

So you are traveling to San Francisco. You are looking for the perfect place to stay, a short stay apartment in San Francisco that feels like home. You are not the type of traveler that wants to visit Alcatraz Island or take a picture in front of the painted ladies. You are kind of traveler that only wants to go to a place if you can have a genuine experience. You want to encounter the food, the music, the people, the art, and the culture that is genuine to the city you are in, and you want to stay in a place that resides in the heart of the city. If you are staying in SF, you want a short term room rental that makes you feel like you are a local, even if it is only for the weekend.

Lucky for you, I have just the spot. The Adrian is a beautiful art deco hotel located right in the heart of San Francisco. I recently had a chance to visit the Adrian and explore its fascinating history and the up-and-coming neighborhood in which it resides, and I cannot recommend it enough! If you are traveling to the bay and looking for temporary housing or a short term rental in San Francisco, you should look into staying at this hotel.

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History:

Lucky for me, the man at the front desk walked me through some of the Adrian’s incredible history. From what I understand, the Adrian was one of the first of the hotels that were established in 1907 shortly after the earthquake of 1906. Throughout the years The Adrian and the Tenderloin neighborhood has been through a number of tremendous changes and an evolution similar to those of Chelsea and Brooklyn, NY. Therefore, the hotel has been through it all, from the nightlife of the roaring 20s and 30s, the economic downturn of the 70’s, to the fringe neighborhood it is often referred to as today. The Tenderloin neighborhood is a must-see if, like me, you enjoy exploring the genuine hart of a city. The Tenderloin neighborhood has recently seen a transition from a downtrodden and impoverished area to an up and coming and trendy community. Local businesses, unique cafes, and strange shops grace every corner alongside newly constructed big businesses. Surrounded by nightlife, the Theater District, shopping in Union Square, tourist attractions, and the world’s best dining, the Tenderloin neighborhood stands right alongside the more visible and popular spots in the city, but maintains its quirky and unique charms.

More information on the Tenderloin’s history can be found here.

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The Hotel:

Apparently, the Adrian is one of the first residences in the Tenderloin to be completely transformed from its former state into a modern, warm, and welcoming building that is affordable, beautiful, safe, and clean. Today, the Adrian is a beautiful art deco style hotel, with all of the modern trappings of twenty-first century extravagance alongside that air of history that makes a place so interesting. I loved the hotel because while the recent renovation has transformed it into a gorgeous all-black and gold trimmed, safe, clean, and almost luxurious building, you can still detect the almost nostalgic air of its former charms. Here are some pictures we took around the gorgeous building:

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The Neighborhood:

The Adrian is located in the Tenderloin neighborhood, what many would call the heart of San Francisco. If you do desire to see popular tourist attractions, the Adrian is only minutes away from many of San Francisco’s most desired and sought-after hot spots. The hotel is right next to the Civic Center and the Bill Graham Auditorium. The Tenderloin neighborhood is close to SOMA, Market Street, and about a 10 minute cab ride to Fisherman’s Wharf, three of the most popular areas in the city. It is great for traveling, because it has excellent access to public transportation: It is about a five minute walk to the nearest BART station and is close to a number of bus stops.

The Tenderloin is right by Little Saigon, so the area is surrounded by delicious and unique Vietnamese Cuisine! If you want to explore the local flavor, check out Turtle Tower for a fresh take on pho, or Chairman Bao for delicious Bao steamed buns. If you are looking for something easy, stop by Lee’s sandwiches for counter-service Vietnamese staples and classic deli sandwiches. The flavors in the area are not to be missed!

If you want to go out in the area, the Tenderloin offers a vibrant nightlife scene, with a number of unique bars in the area hat can not be missed. If you enjoy street art, taking a walk around the neighborhood will reveal hundreds of tagged street corners, stunning murals, and one-of-a-kind designs – the area is a verifiable museum of street art!

You can check out some other cool things to do in the Tenderloin here.

The Adrian:

The Tenderloin is a treasure-trove of interesting spots and activities that offer a peek into the true heart of San Francisco: a vibrant and bustling city in which people of all walks of life have come together to make their own. If you are traveling to San Francisco, the Tenderloin is not to be missed, and if you are looking for temporary housing or a short term room rental in San Francisco or in the Tenderloin, check out the Adrian for a truly special experience.

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Thanks for reading! We update the blog every week, so check back for more SF travel tips! You can read our previous posts here.

Want to browse other amazing places to stay in SF? Check out our open San Francisco room rentals here.

Post made by contributor Isabelle Kaplan.

It is the coziest time of the year! Your student housing in San Francisco has just gotten almost unbearably cold, which means you need to know where to go to get that cozy cup of cocoa you have been craving so bad. We have you covered:

  1. Dandelion Chocolate

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(Ramblist Media)

Head on over to the fun and eclectic Mission District to find a variety of chocolate infused hot beverages from this little shop known for its handmade chocolate treats.

740 Valencia St, San Francisco

  1. Ghirardelli

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(JMA Ventures LLC)

Looking for a classic cup of cocoa right on the San Francisco Bay? You’ve found it.

900 North Point St, San Francisco

  1. The Chocolate Dragon – Bittersweet Cafe and Bakery

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(Chocolate by the Bay)

This cafe embodies the funky artistic nature of Oakland.  Try their Champhurrado! A Mexican hot chocolate with hints of anise and piloncillo.

5427 College Ave, Oakland

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(NOSH: Emilie Raguso)

This cozy coffee shop native to Piedmont Ave in Oakland now has a location on College Ave right in Berkeley! If you’re feeling extra festive, stroll through Elmwood to see the trees aglow with string lights.

4252 Piedmont Ave, Oakland

2965 College Ave, Oakland

  1. Perch

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(Good Coffee)

Perch is the perfect pitstop near Lake Merritt to choose between a classic hot cocoa and a Mexican hot chocolate.

440 Grand Ave, Oakland

  1. Hive, the place to bee

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(Oakland Grown)

In case the clever name isn’t enough, this Oakland cafe has a neat modern vibe with a delicious food menu as well!

2139 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland

 

Don’t feel like leaving your San Francisco housing? Stock up on packets of your favorite instant hot chocolate and watch one of these digital fireplaces roar on your computer screen from the comfort of your couch.

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While you’re at it, you can browse our available single rooms in San Francisco here, or check out our other San Francisco blog posts here!

Post written by contributor Rachel Fay

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Every now and then it is important to get out of your single rooms in San Francisco and go explore this incredible city. San Francisco is a city filled with wonders, and one of my favorites is the little fairy garden called the Conservatory of flowers. If you are a flower fanatic like me, nothing soothes you like wandering through a maze of tangled vines and colorful blooms, the soft sound of bird chirping and the light scent of falling petals hanging heavily in the air.

Furthermore, this is an excellent place to go if you want to expand your knowledge on flowers and plants. There are three different areas you can go inside the conservatory, and each a distinct humidity level and different plants that thrive in that environment.

 

Best of all, during the Butterflies & Blooms exhibit, there is a butterfly area on one side of the conservatory! I could sit in that section and watch the butterflies flit around from flower to flower for days on end. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to make a friend like I did!

It is only $6 with a student ID, but if you feel like saving a dime, the exterior of the Conservatory is nearly just as breathtaking. My friend and I spent nearly an hour taking photographs with the beautiful blossoms, all-white building, and rich greenery. If you are looking for that good Insta pic, you need not even go inside!

Finally, the Conservatory of Flowers has an exquisite light show on the exterior of the building from sundown to midnight. The nonprofit art group Illuminate created the installation piece using gobo projectors, and it transforms the all-white landmark into a garden of its own with a series of exquisitely illuminated flower scenes.

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If you are a plant lover seeking an oasis, need a good date idea, or just want to take some good pics, this enchanting spot is just what you are looking for.

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Don’t have a place to call home in this beautiful city? You can browse our affordable and available single rooms in San Francisco here.

Check out our other San Francisco blog posts here!

Post written by contributor Isabelle Kaplan.